Reward after theft of military items

Medals stolen from the Redoubt
Medals stolen from the Redoubt

A REWARD of £2,000 is being put up for the return of military artefacts – including some from the infamous Charge of the Light Brigade – stolen from the Redoubt Fortress and Military Museum.

Eastbourne Borough Council has joined forces with the Queen’s Royal Irish Hussars Museum Collection based at the museum to offer a £2,000 reward following the theft of medals and other historical artefacts.

The collection trustees have offered a reward of £1,000, matched by the council, for the safe return of the medals and the conviction of those responsible for the theft – which happened at about 11pm on Tuesday, July 3.

More than £16,000 in war artefacts were stolen, among the items taken being a collection of 12 medals awarded to decorated British soldier General Sir John Hackett.

Jonathan Seaman, museum officer at Eastbourne Borough Council, said, “The loss of General Hackett’s medal group really feels like the desecration of a great war hero’s memory.

“This was a person who went above and beyond the call of duty on numerous occasions during World War Two, including being seriously wounded and captured at Arnhem as part of ‘Operation Market Garden’ only to escape while still swathed in bandages to re-join the war effort later.

“Many who had served with or knew the General came to the Redoubt to see his medals and share memories. Now the link to the great man has been lost.

“Objects stolen from the historic ‘Charge of the Light Brigade’ are virtually valueless without the provenance that actually places them on that battlefield, but with that provenance they become incredibly important and poignant objects in our museum, reminders of the bravery and sacrifice of more brave British troops during this action over 150 years ago.

“These objects were on display for all of us to appreciate and deserve to be on show among the other artefacts from that historic day.”

Also taken was a brass bugle with Russian double-headed eagle, a silver cigarette box, and numerous medals including an Iraq medal and a Queen Elizabeth Cross.

Detective Constable Helen Upton said, “These items are of considerable historical importance and their safe return is imperative. Anyone with any information should contact police on 101 quoting serial 292 of 04/07 or call the independent charity Crimestoppers anonymously on 0800 555 111.”